Monday, June 23, 2014

Make a Card Monday - Electric Guitar Thank You

So I posted a pic of Tenor's guitar birthday card last week. The thing with the acoustic guitar that we gave him is that it was a yard sale find. I got a great deal on it years and years ago. It had just been sitting in a closet gathering dust. I knew it needed to be tuned up and cleaned but not being a guitar person was a little out of my element. A guitar-playing friend (who is an awesome guitarist--classical, acoustic, rock, and worship leader) answered my plea for help and offered to restring the guitar for me. We had dinner with his family and he got the guitar all set for Tenor. I wanted to send a guitar themed card to say thank you.
I wanted to use the sunburst background and had enough to make two cards so I varied the style.

After creating the sunburst base, I used an embellishment piece from the paper pad to stamp the sentiment on. I cut the guitar shadow (Cricut Quarternote) from the gray cardstock and then cut the top layer from a gold patterned paper. I used gold Stickles to add the little knobs on the guitar body (yeah, no idea what they're called) and highlight the tuning pegs.

Details:
cardstock: gray cardstock base (Recollections), white cardstock sunburst base and interior (Georgia Pacific)
patterned paper: all sunburst pieces and guitar top (Recollections "Route 66")

embellishments: Stickles (gold)
color: Charcoal ink (Palette)
tools: Quarternote (Cricut)
stamps: Rock On (PTI)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Swimsuit Surgery

Swimsuit shopping has to be one of the most annoying things ever for women! It takes a wonderful thing, shopping, and totally ruins it! It's so hard to find something in store, that you can actually try on, that actually fits properly. Add in wanting to be modest and an almost 40-year old body and the chances of finding something are practically zero. (My troubles seem to be compounded by wearing a smaller size but not wanting a bikini.)
I was tempted to order something online but decided not to having just had some frustrating experiences with clothes shopping via the internet (great companies with great customer service just not able to find something that fit).

I really needed a second swimsuit top though. I ended up finding a tankini top on sale for $20 at a local department store which is mostly okay. Then I had the thought that I could do some "surgery" on my current top to make it more of what I want, giving me two suits to alternate wearing.

After searching for hours online and not finding many tutorials or help, I decided to put one together myself, just in case you're in the same boat!

So here's the before:
This is my "I can't believe I'm putting this pic on the world wide web". Perhaps it gives you an idea of how frustrated I was trying to figure out how to fix this swimsuit and not wanting anyone else to be as frustrated. 
So you can see, it's not terrible but it's sagging low in the front and has no support whatsoever. It's really a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.
Here's the back... you can see how high the back strap support sits.
 And the non-supportive side view.
 My plan was to take an existing, kind of yucky, old bra that still had decent elastic and sew it into the thin lining of the tankini top. First step was to pin the bra into the top, being sure to only pin it onto the lining and not all the way through the front layer too. Then I carefully (very carefully) tried it on.
After I tried it on and made sure that the cups were sitting in the right place and not peeking out anywhere, I cut off the straps.
I flipped it right-side out and checked again to make sure the bra was not showing anywhere and to be sure it was centered and looked okay.
Pre-sewn version; looks okay.
I flipped it wrong-side out and used my sewing machine to sew the bra onto the lining (regular thread, straight stitch). I just sewed around the edge on the inside of the bra seaming. It was a little thick in places but I didn't have any trouble getting the needle through. As I sewed, I tried to keep the cups formed in a rounded shape because the lining is so stretchy.
The next step was to fix the bra's band size. It was a 36... currently, I wear a 30 (Europe) or a 32 (US) so it didn't really offer much support. I did a really ugly fix and just folded the band over itself and sewed a new seam. I had to do both sides to get the size I needed.
I didn't sew the back band into the suit because I figured it would be easier to fasten that way. (I was right.)
Because I'm short, I figured shortening the back strap of the suit would offer more support. It was pretty easy to use the seam ripper on it, then reattach it lower.
Here's the final result:
It has a slightly higher neckline now and plenty of support. Which means no inadvertent flashing.
The actual pinning and sewing took maybe 20 minutes. The most difficult part was trying it on about 10 times! I hope this helps you make swimsuit wearing a little bit easier. Because it's way more fun to be in the pool or on the beach than worrying about your swimsuit!



Friday, June 20, 2014

It's still spring so I have one day left to show my mantel


Wow---time has flown by. I actually had this mantel done ages ago but never got around to taking pics or posting about it. Which I need to do because next year I'll need to look at the pics to remember what I did.
Here's our entry table:
A variation of my spring mantel-birdcages, lanterns, birds, and the shutter screen:
I fixed my watering can (the spout had come off) and put new flowers in it.
My light aqua vase went onto the side table:
Whew! Got that done. Now, I guess I need to redecorate for summer. *sigh* :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Acoustic Guitar Cake

 
I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!

Tenor's birthday is just a few days after Soprano's fortunately, this year, we only had one friend party to host. For Tenor, we had decided to get him an acoustic guitar this year as his big gift. What better cake to celebrate with than my Wilton guitar cake? My mother-in-law had given me this pan years ago, and I never had occasion to use it. I had to find the directions online but it was super easy to find and print the instructions for an acoustic guitar.
Other than trying to get really black icing (ugh!) and the weather being so hot the icing practically melted onto the cake, the whole thing came together easily. Happy Birthday!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Make a Card Monday - Acoustic Guitar Birthday

Tenor turned 12 this past week and for his "big" gift, we gave him an acoustic guitar. He's been asking for several years to play the guitar but I wanted his hands to be a little bigger first.
He was quite excited to get the guitar and this card which I made to go along.

I started by embossing a white mat with Darice's Chevron. On top of that I stamped some grunge elements on the mat at the top left and bottom right. Then I layered hexagons punched from various patterned paper scraps. I cut the guitar base (Cricut Quarternote) from the herringbone patterned paper and layered it with orange cardstock. I stamped the grunge splatter (from Grunge Me) on top of the guitar to tone down the orange and then put it on foam dots to add dimension to the card.

Details:
cardstock: Core'dinations cardstock base, Georgia Pacific (white)
patterned paper: brown and orange stripe (Creative Memories), large teal dot and wide stripe (Arctic Frog), random stripe and herringbone (unknown)

color: Palette Burnt Umber ink
tools: Chevron embossing folder (Darice), hexagon punch (Stampin Up!), Quarternote (Cricut),  foam dots (Studio G)
stamps: Grunge Me (PTI) and Rock On (PTI)

A Pony and Pinwheel Party

I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!

We usually do a family get-together for our younglings' birthdays each year but we have saved having a friend party for when they turn 10 years old.
Tenor had his Angry Birds party a few years ago. This year was finally Soprano's turn. She loves horses so that's where our theme started.
I found a paper pack at Hobby Lobby by The Paper Studio called Pixey Stix that gave us our color scheme.
I used that to make the invitations and thank you cards, a happy birthday banner
a pinwheel wreath for the front door,
and popcorn cones.

To decorate, I set up a display on the buffet in the dining room using Soprano's horse-loving American Girl doll, Saige, and her horse. 

I also used her other horse figures on the buffet, the dining room table (tablecloth from Target), 
Green paper Easter grass to create a base
and on the dining room window sill. I snagged some pink tins from the schoolroom to add color with my horse picks and pinwheels.
Horse picks created from Cricut Old West and paper straws

We also put the goody bags there. I found the idea for the bag on Pinterest and was able to get two different brown colored and white gift bags at a local craft store. I cut the eye circles using Cricut George and the muzzles with my Creative Memories oval cutters. I used Cricut Stamping for the nostrils and Sweet Treats for the bows (cut from Pixey Stix). I drew the ear template by hand.
Soprano loved helping to put the bags together for each guest. Inside we included: a manicure kit (from Michael's), a mini nail polish (from a summer collection at Wal-Mart), a notepad and pencil (Easter clearance), a horse sticker sheet, a small jelly jar of trail mix (I painted the lids with hot pink spray paint), a mini butterfly Perler bead kit (AC Moore), and a pony necklace we made. The 'filler' was a hot pink bandanna. On the outside, I pinned a ribbon that we personalized with each girl's initials. (The ribbons were clearance bachelorette party ribbons I found at Christmas Tree Shops.)

The evening's events started with a pizza dinner then canvas painting. I cut a horse shape from vinyl using Cricut Old West. We stuck the horse onto the center of a plain 12x12 canvas and let the girls paint over it. When they were dry we peeled up the vinyl to reveal the horse shape.

After the painting was done, the girls decorated their own cupcakes and then we opened gifts.
The rest of the evening included lots of nail polish,

silly pictures in front of our photo backdrop,

and a princess movie.


At that point, several of the girls headed home while the rest got ready for bed. In the morning, we had breakfast, played outside, and hung out until the parents came. It was exhausting but tons of fun!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

2 Minutes, $2, 2 Pool Noodles - My Boot Fix

Our master closet is slated for the to-do list. I think it could be much more functional with more shelving and multi-level rods and better shoe storage. Until it happens though, it works okay.
However, the boot situation was not okay.
They were flopping all over or stuck in boxes and getting creases where they shouldn't have creases. I saw this tip online somewhere (probably pinterest) so it's not an original idea but I finally got around to implementing it.

I got two pool noodles at 5 Below... total cost $2.00 (plus tax.)
I stuck it in a boot, gauged how tall it should be and cut it to length using Bass's Exact-O knife.
I didn't really measure.
In about two minutes, I had this. Happy boots, standing tall. And no, I'm not showing any pics of where they got crammed inside the closet. :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Make a Card Monday - Ponies and Pinwheels Birthday Party Invitation

I found inspiration for Soprano's birthday invites and thank yous on Pinterest. I designed the invitation info in MS Publisher and then printed them on white cardstock. After they were printed, I cut the label shape with a Nestabilities die. I made the thank you cards the same way, just leaving the white die shape blank for Soprano to write her own message.

Details:
cardstock: pink cardstock mat (unknown), Georgia Pacific (white)
patterned paper: Pixey Stix paper stack (The Paper Studio)

tools: label die cuts (Nestabilities), Old West cartridge (Cricut)


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